Magnificent photo of Masada

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Magnificent photo of Masada

Great photo of the fortress of Masada showing the ramp built by the Romans to access the fortress and end the siege against the Jewish rebels in 73AD.

Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel on top of an isolated rock plateau, or large mesa, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.

Herod the Great fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt.

In 66 CE, at the beginning of the First Jewish-Roman War against the Roman Empire, a group of Jewish extremists called the Sicarii overcame the Roman garrison of Masada.

After the destruction of the Temple, the jewish rebels and their families fled Jerusalem and settled on the mountain top, using it as a base for raiding Roman settlements.

After the First Jewish-Roman War (also known as the Great Jewish Revolt) a siege of the fortress by troops of the Roman Empire led to the mass suicide of Jewish rebels, who preferred death to surrender.

The rampart built by the Romans was completed in the spring of 73, after approximately two to three months of siege, allowing the Romans to finally breach the wall of the fortress with a battering ram on April 16.

When they entered the fortress, however, the Romans discovered that its 936 inhabitants had set all the buildings but the food storerooms ablaze and committed mass suicide rather than face certain capture, defeat, slavery or execution by their enemies.

Click the link to see the full National Geographic image.

The Roman ramp is the smooth shape on the far right in the full image.

Here is another photo of Masada

masada.jpg - 36.12kb
By netchicken: posted on 30-11-2008

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